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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 05:21 AM UTC (Read 14366 times)  
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Hello, Islanders! It's been a LOOOONG time since we did a contest, so I figure hey, why not. You can win $100 worth of Supporter Points, by coming up with a new idea for a Robot heart!

As those of you who have met Rohit the Robot will know, most Robots have a hardware-based random number generator inside their chests. The random number generator is important to a Robot because Robots tend to think that the thing that sets humans apart from them is our unpredictability; the random number generator helps them to emulate some approximation of free will, by giving them impulses that they choose to ignore or indulge.

Of course, there's random and there's random; any given heart type could provide random data with different characteristics to other heart types, and that could affect the Robot's personality in all sorts of crazy ways.

We're looking for things that a Robot could use as a heart, so that I can expand the Island's canon and perhaps bring some new game features and storylines. You get bonus points for telling us about the sort of Robots who use that particular heart! Here are some examples:


EARTH: The heart that Rohit uses. An oxidized or rusted metal disc spins at a high RPM, and when the Robot needs to get random data, an optical sensor reads the shade of rust that's currently passing underneath it.
Earth-hearted Robots let their metal discs rust however they will, but once the disc is rusted and placed inside the vacuum of a Robot's chest, that's it - it can't change its rust. Therefore, the data that the heart provides is not truly random at the moment of sampling, but predetermined by the random effects of nature.
Earth-hearted Robots tend to be grounded, peaceful, and in tune with their surroundings. They are very interested in the world around them, and strive constantly to be a functional part of that world.


ROULETTE: An early precursor to the rusted metal disc. The very first Robot on Improbable Island made himself a heart that used white and black markers, to better suit the cheap optical sensor available from the parts bin (see the Museum in NewHome). Later, Roulette-hearted Robots used red and black markers, because it's more awesome that way.
Roulette-hearted Robots build their own hearts. They are very proud to be Robots, very self-sustaining, and very traditional in their thinking - nonetheless, since their hearts are based on a symbol of human-created randomness, they do have some passing interest in humanity.


DRIVE: A hard drive platter spins inside the Robot's chest. Hard drives haven't been used in decades, and the data is naturally quite corrupt - but they still provide a one or a zero at random, whenever the Robot needs it. The data was placed on the drive decades ago, by whatever human used the computer from which the drive was salvaged.
Of all Robots, Drive-hearted Robots want the most to be like humans. They crave humanity desperately, and go to any lengths possible to assimilate themselves among us and be accepted as people.


REACTOR: A miniature nuclear reactor sits inside the Robot's chest. The reactor serves as both power source and, via detection of nuclear decay, the random number generator. Of all heart types, this gives the most truly random data.
Reactor-hearted Robots are unlike other Robots, both in philosophy and physiology. Other Robots are solar-powered, and have glasslike photovoltaic skin - Reactor-hearted Robots naturally don't require such contrivances, and have skin of tempered steel, titanium, or carbon fibre. They're more powerful than other Robots, and also more energetic. They usually have only a passing interest in other life forms. Since their governors are more random than others, these Robots tend to be more chaotic and reactionary.


We need the fifth heart type. That's where you come in. Write up a description for the fifth Robot heart. The heart must:
1. Feature some way to provide random data that a Robot could use - that means that there should be some way to convert the results to electrical signals. For example, a rattly little contraption that constantly cast rune stones could only work if it was paired with an electronic sensor that could read those runes. If you're not technically-inclined, by all means just describe the process by which randomness is generated, and I'm sure we can figure out how to interface the results with a Robot's motherboard via a bit of creative hand-waving.
2. Be no bigger than a shoebox.
3. Have some slightly-plausible way in which it could affect a Robot's personality, or set it apart from other Robots with different hearts.
4. Be awesome.


HOW TO ENTER
There are four ways to enter, and each has a prize for the best suggestion.
1. Post in the Enquirer, right here in this thread. The best suggestion here gets $50 worth of Supporter Points.
2. Post on our Facebook page, right here, as a comment. The best suggestion there gets $50 worth of Supporter Points.
3. Tweet to @improbableislnd, with the hashtag #randomheart. No need to keep your suggestion inside one tweet, use as many as seems necessary. Again, the best tweet gets $50 of Supporter Points.
4. Post on our Google+ page, here. Yup, the best one here gets $50 of SP's too.

So, the best suggestion on each site (Enquirer, Facebook, Twitter and G+) get $50 of Supporter Points, and the best overall suggestion gets another $50 of Supporter Points and gets incorporated into Island canon!

The winner will be announced next Sunday. Have at it!

Good luck and have fun!

-CMJ


 
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Sera
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 08:23 AM UTC  
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Heres my idea.

Robot Heart Name: Bingo


How it works:
For each robot heart, there is one super fast, yet miniature bingo playing device. It doesn't do anything on it's own, until a small customized memory card containing bingo sheets, and bingo balls is inserted into the bingo playing device. Then the bingo player pulls random bingo balls until a bingo sheet has bingo. From there, the number of bingo ball pulls it takes to get bingo, the type of bingo, and the bingo sheet number determine what the robot does. For example: A bingo playing device plays bingo until one of the sheets wins. It takes 20 turns, the bingo is a single line from the top right, to the bottom left, and it is bingo sheet number 29. The robot then does something with this data. The turns for bingo happen really fast. One thousand turns per second minimum fast (minimum, meaning it can go faster).

Additional info:
The bingo cards, and bingo balls on the memory card do not have to be standard bingo cards and balls. For example, one bingo card could have no free space, while another has 12, or one set of balls has no B3, while another set a has 3 B3s.
Double bingos (two bingos at once), triple bingos (three bingos at once) or other special cases can happen and affect the data. for example, a bingo card that does not have free spaces could get a super bingo by getting the middle space to create a vertical line, horizontal line and two diagonal lines. This event is different and it affects the data accordingly.
Each robot heart comes with it's own pre-created memory card with bingo cards and balls. However, if someone manages to access the heart, they can replace the memory card with another, thus making the robot more likely to get certain results. For example: a guy can replace a memory with a memory card with only one bingo card, so the robot will get a less random info. Alternatively, a guy can replace that memory card with a memory card with only one bingo ball, and one card with only one non-free spot so there will always be the same result no matter what.
If a robot needs to think differently the bingo games can be switched to blackout (entire card is filled) to get different results.

Nutshell:
Really fast bingo games that give data.


 
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Tekai
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 08:38 AM UTC  
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Robot Heart Name: MAC (Miniature Ark Core)

How it works:

The power itself comes from the limitless calculations of what's probable and what is not. Therefore, the inclination of such a heart would separate it from the others, not only by how it functions, but also in how the robot would act. With seemingly endless probability, he or she would be able to respond to more impulses. They wouldn't be the most powerful, but they would be on par with robots that are equipped with a reactor heart. They have views on lifeforms other then themselves as equal, in some perspective. They're considered the 'weird know-it-all,' but are still considered human for the most part. On the other hand, it doesn't take a lot to set these kind of robots off, seemingly going off on the little things. Most work too control this, but it's thanks to their increased output of the improbable, and the probable chances.

Summed up: Powerful, small device for simplified use.

I gave it my best shot and creativity. Hope you guys like it!


 
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Tha_Dawg
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 08:51 AM UTC  
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Well? Here goes...

Starting with an energized plate with numerous pins suspended just above it-
When a ball bearing is allowed to run across the plate, a circuit would be completed each time the bearing contacted and rebounded off of a pin.

Now then, if ten bearings were to be released (dropped?) at once, the resulting sequence would be quite random.

If the pins were to be of different lengths as well, a robots heart would be able to truly sing, each with it's own melody and tempo.

Of course, an electro-magnet or other such restraining mechanism would need to be employed to keep the bearings from constantly pinging off the pins. Could a faulty magnet allow for a robot with mood swings?



Dang it, this only made me think of another one. I'll wait a couple days and maybe post to G+.


 
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Authority2
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 08:59 AM UTC  
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Maybe the fifth Robot group could carry small chunks of rock infused with Improbability, scavenged from where the Drive has been. The small amounts of Improbability radiation affect their whole body directly on a microscopic scale without intervening electric signals - and, very occasionally, their close surroundings, especially when they open their heart chamber.

These Robots, instead of wanting to be like humans, instead go near Jokers and try to learn to be like them. As a result, they're significantly rarer than the other types.


 
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Lea.wolfsfeld
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 10:26 AM UTC  
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My idea works on something that already exists.

Robot Heart. Photon Random Number Generator

How it works: A single photon is sent to a beam splitter and the reaction of the single photon will give a result of "0" or "1"
The sheer nature of photons allow for many uses of true randomness.

As I seem to be having trouble explaining it, let me give an example of one.
http://www.picoquant.com/products/pqrng150/pqrng150.htm
http://youtu.be/CE4qXo-hYng

Here is my Reference
http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9912118


 
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Waverly
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 10:53 AM UTC  
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Just checking- are we allowed to suggest more than one idea per person?


.
 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:31 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Waverly

Just checking- are we allowed to suggest more than one idea per person?



Yes, but try to spread them out over here, FB, Twitter and G+. Mr. Green


 
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Buddleia
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:43 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Waverly

Just checking- are we allowed to suggest more than one idea per person?

Ooh, good question. To add to it: are we allowed to submit ideas to each category in the hope of winning two or three times? And is there any point in submitting each idea more than once? Wink


I'm going to guess that the answer will be: submit all you like wherever you like but each person can only win once. In case we are allowed to, here's my second submission:

MARKET FORCES:
This robot has been designed to take its randomness from the Contestants of Improbable Island as a whole, searching for an insight into humanity by assessing the whole population of people.

Having analysed various readily-observable factors and found them to be insufficiently random and too slow to change (number of awake people, number classified as each race, number of males/females/others, ages, lengths of names, clan affiliations, number of Mementos held, DK number/rank/level, number of Cobblestones, etc), they settled on eBoy's stocks as an easily quantifiable and rapidly-changing number. (I expect it wouldn't be hard for a Robot to listen in to the constantly-updating radio links between each eBoy's, so they wouldn't need to go to the trader and pay a cig for each decision, just have a radio receiver and some way of interpreting the results. So, the "heart" would be a radio circuit and a widget for deciding what the numbers mean - turning a table of stock numbers into one final 0/1 binary.)

The stocks of each item in each location do tend to settle within a normal range, but they do frequently change, and only according to the supply and demand - which is, of course, dependent on the Contestants and their miscellaneous activities. Measure the stocks, you'll measure the Contestants. Somewhat. This robot will be all about trying to understand people, but focussed on the economic and monetary aspects and maybe what affects these decisions - Titans, Breaches, Supply Crates, OSTs as req banking/transferring, grenade trading runs, Jokers turning Whoomphs into Improbabombs for cigs, people buying all the Nicotine Gums on a whim, etc.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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haystack
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:51 PM UTC  
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RHN: Entropy Engine

HIW: The inevitable degradation of Order is measured to 1,000 +/- 42 decimal points, and used as an RNG.

AI: can be approximated by recording the Brownian Motion of a hot measure of NOS or Red Bull. (tea, even A Really Hot Cuppa, is just Too Weak.)


 
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DracoHandsome
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:25 PM UTC  
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Tax Form Generator

The Robot has a primitive electronic communications device that allows it to download tax forms from a first-world government database as well as random and anonymous (presumably; hopefully) financial records outdated relative to the form by one year, storing these in a dedicated memory bank approximately the size of a baseball and shaped not unlike the head of Baphomet. By attempting to fill this year's tax forms by projecting with the previous year's data, the Robot will be provided with ample amounts of random and nonsensical elements to flavor its behavior.

Robots with TFGs find themselves becoming smooth talkers, greedy req-pinchers, and backstabbing scoundrels more so than others. There is a very small chance the Robot's main processor / head will explode horribly if the form it receives is particularly unintelligible (not necessarily an actual gameplay element.)


 
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endarr
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 05:38 PM UTC  
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Like Clockwork

The heart is a clock. Each hour, each minute, each second sends a new impulse to the robot. Some may be subtle changes as the robot tick-tick-tocks through its "life". Some may be as different night and day! The ticking of the hands sends new and different thought patterns. Of course, this means asking this robot the same question at the same exact time every day will result in the same answer xD. These robots are very given to routine, some going so far as to reliving the same day, over and over again. Being analog, these clocks can slowly desync with real-time, but that can be fixed with a gentle nudge. It may even be part of a robot's routine.


What do you get when a dragon sneezes? Out of the way.
 
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Thomas_III
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:00 PM UTC  
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GLASS: It was only natural that some robots would have a heart based on the same material as the rest of their bodies. At any moment, any ambient light refracts through the robot's skin, focusing through the glass heart. At the center of a glass heart is a photoreceptor that reads intensity and angles of all refracted light. Because of the multitudes of ways that light can be refracted within the glass crystal, this yields a seemingly infinite number of possible reactions at any given moment.

Robots with glass hearts can be the most unpredictable of creatures, as their responses can be affected by any fluctuation in available light, as well as the refraction through their own skin. In seemingly metaphoric fashion, robots with a glass heart can also be the most fragile, as the very nature of their inner workings make them susceptible to strong emotional distractions. Interestingly, though, this chaotic nature decreases as ambient light is lessened. In near darkness, a glass heart becomes more predictable and stable. Thus, these robots are drawn to the light for more reasons than just healing.


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:44 PM UTC  
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Man. My idea for robots has always been that they should be powered by a constant, miniature nuclear explosion but then you had to go and take that, didn't you.

Now I have to come up with something else.


 
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StellaNova
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 07:28 PM UTC  
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My concept for a Robot Heart randomizer.

LAVA LAMP: A traditional Lava Lamp filled with a clear fluid in which a red fluid percolates and ungulates from top to bottom. The Lava Lamp is scanned by beams of light at various heights along the lamp, and the thickness of the red fluid is taken as a ratio of the diameter of the lamp. This can generate any number from 0 to 1 and all points in between. The robot can use any or all of these readings depending on the complexity of the situation it is faced with.





 
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Bryan
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 08:44 PM UTC  
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Very likely already been said, but here goes:
Falling Sand: Very much like Earth hearts, the robot takes in a piece of nature, in the shape of a pile of sand or small pebbles. These objects are placed into a metal box, thin and rectangular in shape. The metal box has slots in the top and bottom, and scales in the slots detect the total weight of the grains of sand or pebbles that land in them as the box is turned upside down. Pegs inhibit the fall of the grains. The robot uses the data from the pressure sensors to make its decisions. These robots are marked by their slowness to make a choice, and their general tendency to choose a more average path, rather than something extreme or totally random. They follow a bell-curve average. In this sense, they are like humans that adhere to a status quo and don't go outside of norms very often.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bean_machine


 
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Amaya
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 09:33 PM UTC  
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Not all that sure how to explain it, but here it goes!

MUSICAL:

The heart is designed like an old fashion music box, with pits and bumps a laser reads, but instead of playing music it reads out a string of code. The catch could be that the longer the robot spends fighting on the Island, the more nicks and dings could affect the the pits on the heart, causing the random coding of free will. Because the randomness is generated by defects and injuries they are more melancholy and have a darker outlook on life. Since their free will consists of defects, they are under the assumption that all humans must be broken and are known to pity humans, and instead of being like them, they strive for perfection and are less likely to enter combat.

Not sure if it has already been suggested but there's my idea!


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 09:51 PM UTC  
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Quote by: StellaNova

My concept for a Robot Heart randomizer.

LAVA LAMP: A traditional Lava Lamp filled with a clear fluid in which a red fluid percolates and ungulates from top to bottom. The Lava Lamp is scanned by beams of light at various heights along the lamp, and the thickness of the red fluid is taken as a ratio of the diameter of the lamp. This can generate any number from 0 to 1 and all points in between. The robot can use any or all of these readings depending on the complexity of the situation it is faced with.



Eek! This is exactly what I was going to say. Great minds, and such, eh? I'd better get my other ideas written down quickly.


 
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Lea.wolfsfeld
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 10:07 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Lea.wolfsfeld

My idea works on something that already exists.

Robot Heart. Photon Random Number Generator

How it works: A single photon is sent to a beam splitter and the reaction of the single photon will give a result of "0" or "1"
The sheer nature of photons allow for many uses of true randomness.

A robot with this kind of heart would be very fast to respond, usually speaking whole lines as if they were one word. Due to the system they carry, they tend to be very protective of their bodies, as its easy for the system to become damaged. They will often will react in strange ways, in ways that at times that seem to have no meaning. They are also interested in EVERYTHING. They want to know everything about everything.


 
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shadowkin
 Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 10:16 PM UTC  
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Sky heart

The robot's heart is a lens on the top of its head and a wireless receiver in its heart. The lens takes a monochrome picture of the robot's immediate surroundings, distills it to a value and weights the value by the background EM radiation of its surroundings so that it is still random even in the same place without moving.

These robots would be more concerned with time and place than people or things. They might be flighty or standoffish and their interests in humanity would be in where humanity is going as a whole or what they might become.


 
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